The latest purchasing managers’ index says Kenyan companies have been shedding jobs for the third month in a row, pointing to the agonising business operating environment.
Firms say cash flow headaches, poor customer spending on reduced incomes, high taxes and searing energy bills among others are not giving them any reason to hire. The worst scenario is painted in the construction sector, which has been a dependable job creator for decades.
Add to the waning fortunes in agriculture, retail, wholesale and services sectors letting go of staff and the picture painted should give authorities sleepless nights.
This clearly speaks of a worrying trend that needs immediate attention. Employers want the Kenya Kwanza regime to think long-term and stay clear of short-term revenue targets that end up killing the goose laying the golden eggs.
The government must balance the need to squeeze revenue from all sectors through taxes while ensuring that nascent companies are accorded a conducive environment to expand and become future employers.
Alternatively, authorities should relook at the Finance Act 2023, which is believed to be the genesis of the current bloodbath and find areas that can be addressed urgently to save the remaining jobs.